STARKVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi State on Wednesday announced Todd Grantham as the school's new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Grantham has spent ten seasons as a defensive coordinator, including most recently at Louisville since 2014. His squads ranked in the top-20 nationally in either scoring or total defense in five of his seven seasons as a college defensive coordinator, including all three years at Louisville.
"Todd has proven to be one of the best defensive coordinators in the country this decade," MSU head coach Dan Mullen said. "He understands what it takes to build a physical and aggressive defense at the highest of levels. We are excited to welcome he and his family to Starkville."
"When the opportunity to be part of Dan Mullen's staff presented itself it was something my family and I became very excited about," Grantham said. "Coach Mullen has built a winning program in the most challenging conference in the country. Along with our staff, I look forward to re-establishing the Bulldog defense as one of the top defenses in the country and making the fans of Mississippi State proud."
Grantham's commitment to an aggressive and physical style was evident in Louisville's run defense, which finished top-15 nationally in all three of his seasons. The Cardinals were 12th against the run in 2016 (115.2 ypg), 14th in 2015 (120.2 ypg) and No. 10 in 2014 (108.9 ypg). They notably held All-American and Doak Walker Award finalist Dalvin Cook to only 54 yards on the ground in a 63-20 victory over Florida State on Sept. 17, 2016. In the last five years, Louisville ranks second nationally in yards per carry defense (3.3) behind only Alabama (2.6).
Grantham's unit finished No. 14 nationally in total defense in 2016 (322.2 ypg), No. 18 in 2015 (332.8 ypg) and No. 6 in 2014 (308.5). His 2014 squad led the nation in interceptions with 26, while the Cardinals have posted a three-year total of 58, which is tops nationally during that span.
Grantham saw seven players drafted into the NFL during his tenure at Louisville. He tutored Devonte' Fields, who led the country in tackles for loss per game (1.73) in 2015 and was voted first-team All-ACC in 2016. Fields is considered one of the top pass rushing prospects in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
During his career, Grantham worked under several successful defensive minds on both the pro and college levels, including Saban, Frank Beamer and Bud Foster at Virginia Tech, Romeo Crennel at Cleveland, Dom Capers at Houston and Wade Phillips at Dallas.
Grantham played guard and tackle for the Hokies from 1984-88. He earned second-team All-South and honorable mention All-America honors as a senior. He earned a bachelor's degree in sports management from Virginia Tech in 1989.
Born Sept. 13, 1966, in Pulaski, Va. Grantham and his wife, Paige, have a son, Corbin, and a daughter, Olivia.